I Have Multiple Salesforce Orgs… Now What?
So far in 2021 there have been more than 6,500 reported acquisitions worldwide, which is 29% higher than the amount this time last year¹. Post acquisition is when the real fun begins – analyzing the people, processes, and technology of the acquired company in comparison to the acquiring company. This includes an evaluation of CRM systems and whether it makes sense to consolidate multiple Salesforce orgs or continue operating separately.
What are the Core Factors that Drive CRM Design?
Vision and Go-To-Market Alignment
What are you looking to get out of your CRM? Is your organization objective to continue operating as independent businesses or are you looking to incorporate cross-selling, servicing, and marketing of products? What is the purpose and value proposition of your planned operational strategy?
These are just a few questions that your organization should begin to answer during the merger process, along with defining the short and long term plans once the acquisition is complete. You have to understand where you want to go and the overall direction of the company before you can properly map out the steps on how to get there. The vision and go-to-market strategy should be aligned to by key business and technical stakeholders to increase awareness and receive appropriate buy-in on approach.
Extent of Overlap on Customer Base
Do the business units share customers and partners? Will your customers view your marketing, sales and service teams as ‘one team’ or will there continue to be a distinction between brands or products? Do your customers have any self-serve platforms or a community they have access to?
The customer experience should not be ignored or made more challenging as a result of an acquisition. Neglecting the customer process from lead to advocacy could result in lost business opportunities. By mapping the customer journey, whether the consumer data should be shared within various business units and teams, and evaluating to what level the customer should be empowered is a key driver in determining the proper org strategy.
What are the other non-CRM systems used day-to-day and what purpose do they serve? Is there an existing Governance or Center of Excellence model in place? What tools and teams are used to perform enhancements and complete system deployments?
When evaluating CRM systems, this is also a great opportunity to also identify what is not working in your multiple Salesforce orgs, and where your business feels they have gaps in what they can and cannot do today. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all pain points will be solved right away, but it does provide a forum to build a backlog of feature requests. Having a Governance or Center of Excellence model in place can then determine whether the requests are aligned to the overall vision, and prioritize based on business impact. If there is no Governance or Center of Excellence model, and no strong release management process or team, then implementing these functions should be a priority to ensure long term success despite which org strategy option is selected.
Process and Tooling Alignment
Do the different user groups have similar business operations? Will business transactions and processes require harmonization or remain separate? What are the differences and similarities in the existing processes among the business groups?
Establishing whether there is a business use case to streamline processes or continue with drastically different processes across multiple Salesforce orgs should be evaluated and taken into consideration. This evaluation consists of determining the following:
- What processes are similar and can become the Global Core?
- What processes are different by business unit?
- What regional requirements need to be taken into consideration?
- What country specific or temporary requirements need to be implemented?
If consolidating CRM orgs is the ultimate goal then ideally you want 80%+ of process and system functionality to fit in the Global Core. Not having this level of alignment could result in having overly-complex data/process partitions and record types, constant fights across business units or regions in relation to what the development roadmap will look like, continual complaints about a lack of system agility to keep up with business needs, and complex (and sometimes competing) integration architectures to different solutions meeting the needs of the separate businesses. If your business does not fall within the 80%+ category then having a multi-org structure may make more sense.
Data Security, Data Residency and Mitigation of Business Risk
Are there common data dependencies among the various groups? Are there any regulatory or compliance barriers to sharing data across business units? Is there a need for the business units to access and share data?
The need to report on data across the different business units is not a sole reason for a consolidated org. There are other mechanisms that can be implemented to share those specific data points. There are also varying regulations (e.g. GDPR and CCPA) across different countries on how Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is stored and the location of the data center your CRM instance is running from that need to be taken into account. Especially if your company is/will be operating at a global level.
How do I Know if an Org Merge is the Right Move?
It isn’t uncommon during the merger and acquisition process that all the areas above will not be solidified with a fine-tooth comb. Even if you are able to answer one of the core factors, that is not enough information to declare a CRM org strategy. All of these areas should be analyzed before making a decision on which Salesforce org structure is the right one based on your business needs and objectives. If you have multiple Salesforce orgs or multiple CRM systems as a result of acquisition(s) and unsure how to move forward, contact the experts at EPAM PolSource today.